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Home » My Kolkata » News » Alumni in US use Durga Puja to garner help for Jadavpur University

Fundraising Drive

Alumni in US use Durga Puja to garner help for Jadavpur University

The California-based foundation set up its banner in three pujas — Prabasi, Newark City, California; Agomoni, San Ramon, California; and Muktangan, Brentwood, California

Subhankar Chowdhury | Published 14.10.22, 06:59 AM
A group of former Jadavpur University students based in the US, using the Durga Puja in California to raise funds for their alma mater

A group of former Jadavpur University students based in the US, using the Durga Puja in California to raise funds for their alma mater

Telegraph picture

A group of former Jadavpur University students in the US, who have been raising funds for the maintenance of the university’s laboratories, used the Durga Puja in the Bay Area in California to disseminate the message about the Global Jadavpur University Alumni Foundation (GJUAF), which has been set up as a platform to raise resources for their alma mater.

The California-based foundation set up its banner in three pujas — Prabasi, Newark City, California; Agomoni, San Ramon, California; and Muktangan, Brentwood, California — that attracted many former students.  The foundation is looking forward to raising $100,000 by November  to support their alma mater, which is facing an acute funds crunch. 

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“Most of the Durga Puja events (out of 22) in the Bay Area ended over the last weekend…. Interestingly, we noticed a lot of Jadavpur alumni and volunteers in the Bay Area took pictures with the posters. While we celebrate the festive season, please note that GJUAF is in the middle of fundraising activity. We plan to raise $100,000.00 by November,” reads a message posted on October 7 on the Facebook page of the foundation.  

“Please donate and share the donation links with friends,” it stated.

A Facebook link was shared with the post.       

Another message posted on October 4 says: “Goal was to spread the awareness of GJUAF and its fundraising activity for the noble cause — supporting the maintenance of labs @ our alma mater Jadavpur. Please help us spread the word.”

The Telegraph reported on July 27 that the foundation had launched a fundraising drive because, it said in a Facebook post, “the state (Bengal) government pays for the salaries of the university’s staff and faculty” and “they don’t have any budget for maintenance of the laboratories”.

The president of the foundation, Ranjit Chakravorti, who graduated from JU in 1961 in chemical engineering, said they used the Puja gatherings to network for resource generation for their alma mater. 

“Banners bearing the name of the foundation, and the message ‘Platform to promote alumni involvement for the alma mater” inscribed on them, was placed in the three pujas in the Bay Area. Many former students inquired about the foundation and registered with the platform afresh,” said Chakravorti, who did his MTech at IIT Kharagpur.

“We are looking forward to receiving generous support from them for their alma mater, which is encountering a fund crunch owing to depleting support both from the central and state government.”

The JU finance officer has written in the university’s first newsletter released in September that the university was facing an acute dearth of resources and facilities for academic development and the only option left for “resource generation” was increasing the fees.

“If this scenario continues, then a day will come when we can’t go for any upgradation/or purchase new equipment,” Gourkirshna Pattanayak, the finance officer, wrote. Chakravorti said they were aware of the fact that the university had constituted a committee to look into the “huge gap” in its income and expenditure and suggest measures to bridge it.

They were also aware that a “general embargo” had been imposed on spending in the 2022-23 academic year.

“We are trying to come up with whatever support possible to support the university in these crucial times,” he said. JU vice-chancellor Suranjan Das had said in July that the institute needed funds to overhaul its infrastructure for better performance in engineering and science.

“We are trying to get in touch with former students for support. We have decided to start an alumni cell,” the VC had said. 

A batch of former students who had graduated from JU in civil engineering department in 1997 had decided to raise Rs 40 lakh for buying computers for the institute.

Last updated on 14.10.22, 10:56 AM
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